For many, the thought of standing up in front of a roomful of people whose eyes are firmaly fixed on them and delivering a wedding speech is enough to induce tears.
The jokes that nobody gets, the quips that someone takes offence at, the 30 minute wedding speech that sends people to sleep or the 30 second wedding speech that leaves people looking bewildered. These are just some of the things that make wedding speechmakers wake up in a puddle of sweat in the middle of the night (we won't talk about the other things that have this effect!). However, there are plenty of things that can be done to ensure this needn't be the case.
This article outlines the five step process to developing, writing and delivering a wedding speech. By the end, it should ensure that you not only look forward to the upcoming sermon, but are able to look back on it with fondness.
Understand Wedding Speech Etiquette
Regardless of whether you're the Groom, Best Man, Father of the Bride or other wedding speechmaker, there are just some things you just simply shouldn't say in your wedding speech. Bad language, belittling the Bride and preaching to the wedding guests are just three that are worth mentioning up front, but there are a whole host of others too. Our wedding speech etiquette article takes a closer look at each one in turn for those who think they may come a cropper on this front.
Stock Up on Wedding Speech Jokes, Quotes & One-Liners
Over the years there have been some great wedding speeches made, and tucked within those wedding speeches are some fantastic bits which you can pinch and use yourself. Jokes and one-liners make great additions to any Best Man wedding speech, and for sentimental Grooms or dads out there, the inclusion of romantic quotes is a good option. The internet is a fantastic resource for this type of material, so why not start off by checking out our wedding speech jokes, wedding one liners and wedding quotes articles.
Research & Write the Wedding Speech & Toast
The key to any great wedding speech is the material, but finding the words is a lot easier said than done.
Your first port of call should be your very own little grey cells, and you should look to jot down as many thoughts as possible before looking elsewhere.
Once you've exhausted this avenue, speak to as many friends, relatives, old schoolteachers and neighbours as you like for stories and anecdotes. You won't need a formal meeting, you can even do it down the local pub, just take a note pad and write down everything that you have been told.
Armed with all your material, research, jokes, poems and quotes, your next job is to write the wedding speech and any required wedding toast (you'll find more info on the latter in our dedicated wedding toasts article).
For some this will be an easy task and you'll be able to pull together a top notch wedding speech in moments. For others, this is the most difficult bit.
If you are finding it difficult getting started, our how to write a wedding speech and funny wedding speeches articles should come in handy, and for those really struggling, you could even look to enlist the help of a professional wedding speech writer.
Learn Your Lines
It's all well and good having written a wedding speech Shakespeare would be proud of, but if you can't remember the words, then you may as well not have bothered.
Practising the wedding speech is crucial and you should approach it as though it was the most important thing you’ve ever done. Rewording parts of the wedding speech which you struggle to remember is a top tip, and practicing it everywhere (the shower, the toilet, on your way to work, during the advert breaks etc.) is essential. You may wish to record yourself speaking and listen to it back to see where you struggle or speak too fast, and if you find yourself unable to remember one line from the next, don't be afraid to use crib cards.
For more helpful advice, check out our wedding speech making article.
Deliver the Goods
You've wrote a gem of a wedding speech and practised it till your blue in the face, the very last thing on the agenda is to deliver the damn thing!
The crucial thing to remember here is that everyone, and we mean everyone, wants you to do well. You should approach the wedding speech delivery with an air of confidence and positivity. This is your five minutes in the spotlight, so relax, take a deep breath and enjoy. For practical speech delivery ideas, be sure to check out our wedding speech tips article.
For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other wedding speech articles on the site packed full of expert information and inspirational ideas, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with toastmasters, speech writers and more.
For friendly tips and helpful advice take a look at our wedding speech forum, or why not check out the 'related articles' and 'pages & websites you may like' below.